Need help now?
If you or someone you know is in crisis now, please call 911 or your local crisis line.
If you are concerned that someone may be thinking about suicide, one of the most helpful things you can do is ask them directly about it.
- Do ask calmly, clearly, and as soon as possible. “Are you thinking of suicide?” is the most clear and direct way to ask.
- Don’t agree to keep someone’s thoughts of suicide a secret, even if you think that breaking confidentiality might make them angry. Your priority is to help them keep safe—you can work other things out later.
If the person says that they’re thinking about ending their life, it’s important to ask them if they have a plan, and if they intend to end their life soon.
- Do take all threats or suicide attempts seriously.
- Don’t minimize any of the person’s feelings or try to debate with them.
If they have a plan to end their life soon, connect with crisis services or supports right away.
- Do remove any obvious means of suicide—such as drugs, sharp objects, or firearms—from the immediate vicinity.
- Don’t do anything to compromise your own safety.
- Don’t leave them alone until help is provided or the crisis line or emergency responders say that you can leave.
Along with asking, listening—without judgement—is one of the most helpful things you can do when someone is thinking about suicide. If you can, find a private place and let the person you are concerned about take as much time as they need.
- Do tell them that they are important and that you care about them.
- Don’t try to fix their problems—simply listening and being there for them is one of the best interventions anyone can give.
Know that professional help is available and it’s not up to you alone to help someone with their problems. Learn how to connect a person at risk of suicide to life-saving community supports and resources.